Mentor of the Month: Julie Shaw

Instead of a traditional paired mentor-mentee program this year, we are featuring monthly Q&A’s with mentors about how they broke into journalism, what their day is like, and any advice they have for young journalists. From there, students or anyone else (“mentees”) can email the mentors with any questions or set up informational interviews.

Our third Mentor of the Month is Julie Shaw (@julieshawphilly) of the Philadelphia Daily News. Ask her anything via

Q: What is your current position, and how long have you been working there?

I cover the Criminal Justice Center (city criminal court) and the federal court for the Philadelphia Daily News. I have been working at the Daily News since January 2007.

Q: Did you always want to be a journalist? How did you “break into the industry,” so to speak?

I had always wanted to be a writer, but focused on journalism later in my career (after first working in business, serving in the Peace Corps, then going to graduate school). I started off at smaller papers, including going to Ohio for a couple of years and working at a newspaper there.

Q: Describe your typical work day.

I typically cover anywhere from one, two or three court hearings a day in the Criminal Justice Center or federal court. The court hearings include homicide, rape and robbery cases.

Q: What is your best advice for young journalists?

My advice to young journalists is to follow your dream. Also, working at a smaller paper can be great experience so don’t be scared or too proud to try a smaller news outlet first.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job? And the best thing about being a journalist in Philadelphia?

I enjoy hearing first-hand what allegedly happened in a crime. I like that Philly is a big city, but has a small-town feel.

Q: What do you enjoy outside of journalism?

I’m a mom of a young child, so outside of work, my free time is usually spent doing kids activities in the city. I also love eating out at the many great restaurants in the city.

The Philadelphia Daily News has fall, spring and summer reporting and photography internships. Email Julie for more details. Lastly, here are some of her featured clips:

Any questions or comments about the mentorship program itself? Would you like to be featured as a Mentor of the Month too? Contact Meeri Kim, AAJA-Philly’s Mentorship Director, via